Education and Adaptation: ISCM student carves new path through coursework

May 10, 2017
Swenson has developed leadership skills through her ISCM program, but also through her work as a firefighter with the Rockton Fire Protection District.


Jeaneau SwensonJeaneau Swenson knows that if there is one constant in life, it is change. Her father taught her to step back and look at the bigger picture, which helped her develop a keen ability to adapt to unexpected circumstances. Swenson’s appreciation for adaptation served her well when she decided to make the jump to a new field.

Moving from a manufacturing firm to an internship with an aerospace firm certainly brought challenges; however, Swenson said her coursework in the Master of Science in Integrated Supply Chain Management program prepared her to excel.

“I’m enjoying watching how the core courses of my program relate in a very real-world sense to yet another career field,” Swenson said. “Though a methodical process, New Program Introduction in aerospace is a very dynamic and fluid environment. I often have the opportunity to witness the functions of the entire supply chain within this single hybrid department on a daily basis, which is truly integrated supply chain management at work. Not to mention that I am literally surrounded by engineers, so having emphasis classes in engineering was a plus as well.”

The knowledge Swenson has gained through the ISCM program complements her years of career and personal experience. This includes the 10 years she spent as a firefighter and EMT. During that time, she said the ability to lead, think strategically, and retain focus was critical to keep citizens and her team members safe. The work was physically challenging, but Swenson approached it with her trademark optimism and established herself as a leader.

“Being female, it afforded me the opportunity to prove to myself and others that not only was I capable to do the job, but also to lead others and take command in stressful situations,” Swenson said. “Returning to school has also impacted my ability to lead and motivate others through group work. Each project I’ve been a part of has provided me not only with a deeper understanding on the subject matter, but more importantly the ability to work with others who have completely different career and educational backgrounds in a team environment. This is an invaluable resource.”

As she wraps up her capstone project this summer, Swenson’s leadership in her group projects and other course work earned her induction into Phi Kappa Phi, one of the nation’s preeminent academic honor societies. “Even though I’m 45 years old, my dad was pretty excited about that. I’m starting to realize all the hard work is worth it.”

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